Black Widow review: Marvel thrills, James Bond style
This could be the most difficult Black Widow super-spy mission yet. Two years ago, thecrescendo in an interstellar Endgame overflowing with a galaxy of superhero stars. After a long hiatus imposed by COVID, how does a spy movie with barely any superpowers measure up? Scarlett Johansson and a perfect cast of new faces made a pandemic , and, after its summer premiere in theaters, it’s finally available on Disney Plus at no additional cost.
The film opened in theaters on July 9 and aired onfor an additional $ 30 Premier Access fee on the same day. It was released digitally on August 10 and on DVD and Blu-ray on September 14. And it’s now free to all Disney Plus subscribers at no cost.
Disney’s streaming service made it easier for fans to return to the MCU with weird, winning TV showsand . This means that Black Widow’s smooth yet straightforward action could look even more outdated. Thankfully, this entertaining and sure-footed comic book adventure takes the spy formula and sprinkles it with Marvel magic for anyone who wants a twist on James Bond thrillers like , also released this week.
Black Widow (the movie) is the first solo release of Natasha Romanova (Johansson), an assassin turned Avenger and a frozen Russian killer. So why does her film open with young Natasha enjoying an idyllic childhood in sunny Ohio suburbs of the 1990s? When Marvel’s SHIELD super-cops get closer, Natasha’s nuclear family is revealed to be less all-American and more alike.
Hit on Natasha on the run from US authorities again, except now that she grew up in Scarlett Johansson, and she’s in trouble for going thug in 2016. Throwing her phone into a fjord, she is soon safe off the grid and tucked in a bolt hole watching James Bond movies on a small television. But trouble always comes, and this time Natasha faces her own traumatic past as she settles old scores.
From the flashback opening to the post-credits scene, everyone dons skin-tight super-spy outfits and it’s around the world for a Bourne and Bond style adventure, with snipers all over the place. the rooftop, motorcycle stunts and hidden supervillain lairs. A Q-style quartermaster even dispenses aid along the way, while a ruthless masked henchman makes it difficult.
Black Widow isn’t as inventive as the brutal, stunt-packed fights of Charlize Theron’s similar spy punch, or as alluring and elegant as recent Bond films like . And it remains to be seen if Black Widow’s backdrops are as indelible as any stunt in the world. series – or even memorable Marvel moments like Winter Soldier’s elevator fight.
Yet director Cate Shortland takes spy action to the next level. Even with no superpowers in play, every hand-to-hand combat or foot chase relative to the ground quickly grows to fun and ridiculous proportions. It’s notlevel of physics-defying ridicule (thankfully), but big scenes like a frigid prison break are exhilarating enough to be worthy of the big screen.
More importantly, Black Widow highlights Marvel’s greatest strength (or at least the most consistent). The big budget effects are all very whimsical, and there have been a lot of moving plays. But starting within 2008, the Marvel films had their fair share of ample storytelling, underwhelming action, and forgettable foes. The Black Widow plot revolves around another device that the movie doesn’t seem to care about, while the villainous Taskmaster is an undercooked villain. But what makes Marvel movies work every time is the casting. Basically, the MCU is built around a base of characters and stars that you want to hang out with.
In this case, Johansson is paired with Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz andlike Natasha’s family of spies. And each of them is a joy to watch.
It’s great to see Pugh on the biggest stage possible after his star turns into a disturbing horror movieand touching wrestling comedy . As Natasha’s younger “sister”, she’s like Black Widow without the gloves. Their spiky sibling jokes are both contagious and touching as they tie into their shared trauma and an equally skillful use of violence. Johansson knows exactly what she’s doing as she goes from kicking to joking, but Pugh’s charming combination of vulnerability, comedic timing, and general badassery comes very close to stealing the whole show.
Harbor has a ball that goes frombeefy sheriff as a larger than life superhero. With “Karl” and “Marx” tattooed on his fingers, the bearded, bear-like Russian hero known as the Red Guardian just wants the Communist Party to feel like a party. Like Pugh, Harbor is in stage robbery form with her hilariously sexy and hilarious performance.
Completing the dysfunctional family, Weisz has less of a showboating role. But she playfully plays Harbor’s larger performance and brings a touch of class to the debates. Whether they’re together as a unit or triggered individually, the interplay between these four stars carries Black Widow when the relatively simple story winds or the action comes to a halt.
There are a lot of pent-up expectations surrounding this movie. We haven’t had a Marvel movie since Captain Marvel’s triple whammy in 2019,and . It’s a big change from going from one movie every few months to nothing for two whole years, so the question is whether the Marvel juggernaut will continue to roll or if audiences have cooled down to this whole super-thing. -hero.
It doesn’t help that Black Widow is barely as daring or imaginative as the Marvel TV freaks show WandaVision and Loki, although it definitely covers geopolitical territory similar towith much more panache.
Thankfully, Black Widow is an established character and fans have wanted to see Johansson in a solo movie for years. Pandemic aside, this movie was a long time coming. It’s great to see Johansson directing such an entertaining and entertaining women-centric action movie, and not all big-budget blockbusters attack the coercion of women’s reproductive rights as a means of control.
Smart, sexy, and perfectly cast, Black Widow barely has a story to tell but still manages to be a lot of fun. It might be underrated compared to the cosmic storyline of Endgame, but it still befits the big screen. The MCU’s cinematic comeback is more exciting than, infinitely better than and give a run for its money. All thanks to four stars who successfully completed the mission.
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